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Time Running Out On Change – by Jaye Gaskia



Image: The author, Jaye Gaskia

While there can be no doubting the fact that the present government inherited a country being unconscionably bled to death through uncommon plunder; and while it is also true that the past impacts on the present and the future; nevertheless, the past cannot continue to be used as a permanent excuse for the inadequacies of the present.

I mean let’s face facts; the $2.1bn Dasukigate transforming the erstwhile National Security Adviser [NSA] into National [Loot] Sharing Adviser is humongous even if it is just the tip of the iceberg of the cesspool of Treasury Plundering of the recent past. This amount at N200 per Dollar exchange rate translates into almost exactly the size of the 2016 budget proposal of Akwa Ibom State at N426bn!

So, yes, the past was indeed rotten, and the immediate past even more so.

However all of us were aware of the unprecedented levels of corruption and maladministration going on; it was why the opposition promised change; and it was why a majority of Nigerians voted change!

Unfortunately however over the last few months since the May inauguration of the APC government, all that we continue to be treated to is one excuse after the other. 

What does the government intend to do about the crisis in the fuel and energy sectors? How does it intend to address the perennial fuel scarcity problem? 

How does it intend to assure stable and adequate supply of refined petroleum products without imposing further hardships, without price increases, and with a view to doing away with the import dependent fraudulent subsidy regime? 

How long will it take to address these problems? What is the government’s plan? And who are the stakeholders that government is discussing its plans with? 

We have been told, courtesy of a NERC Commission, in which a national commissioners earn more than N50 million per annum; and whose retiring national commissioners have awarded themselves juicy severance packages to the tune of N400m; that we shall be paying 45% more for electricity in 2016. 

What is the government’s position on this? How is this a fulfillment of its election manifesto that it will improve power supply before discussing tariff hike?

Where is their plan for the power sector? How long will it take to achieve certain levels with respect to availability of stable power supply? As well as certain levels in Generation, Distribution and Transmission capacities?

Again who is the government consulting with on these and other issues? Why is the government that claims a popular mandate not talking to and consulting the people?

Nearly 13% of the tenure of the government is already spent, time waits for no one and nature abhors a vacuum.

There is a Yoruba adage that says; “If one utilizes 20 years to prepare for insanity, for how many years will the person be mad”?

Time is running out on change!

Jaye Gaskia

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